One in three outpatient antibiotic prescriptions written in the U.S. are considered unnecessary for the conditions they are used to treat.4
That amounts to 8 million unnecessary outpatient prescriptions written each year just for viral upper respiratory infections.5 That’s millions who didn’t need to take antibiotics. And this overprescribing of antibiotics comes at a cost.
Health experts warned for years that overprescribing and lack of development of new antibiotics would lead to an increase in “superbug” infections that are resistant to one or more antibiotics.13
With antimicrobial resistance becoming an increasing global public health threat, you need to find a way to take back control of the decisions being made for you and your loved ones.
Get your flu vaccine.
When you feel cold or flu symptoms coming on, go to a doctor to get accurately diagnosed.
Don’t demand an antibiotic without a diagnosis from your doctor.
If you are prescribed antibiotics, take the full course as directed.
Seasonal respiratory illnesses (like flu, RSV, strep, etc.) can be too similar to distinguish based on symptoms alone. In addition, traditional tests in doctors’ offices haven’t been very accurate10,11,12 in the past. Now, a new type of test is available that can bring lab-quality, fast and accurate testing right to your doctor’s office.
This is important, because some treatments — like antivirals for flu — are most effective if given within the first 48 hours of symptoms.14
Ask your doctor for a test to determine if you or your loved one has the flu, strep A, RSV, or something else before you're prescribed an antibiotic unnecessarily which could contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.
Doctors need to be able to accurately and quickly determine if patients have flu, strep or RSV in order to begin appropriate treatment as soon as possible. With traditional office testing, a negative result often requires laboratory confirmation (which can add days to the process) to be certain what treatment is needed. The cobas Liat system allows a doctor to get fast and accurate results that don't need to be confirmed by a lab - even if the result is negative. That means you can begin appropriate treatment in minutes instead of days.
The real value of testing in your doctor’s office is that you get your results in a timely manner, which helps your doctor make faster, more accurate treatment decisions. The cobas Liat system offers fast and accurate Flu A/B, Strep A, and RSV results in your doctor’s office in 15 to 20 minutes.
1 National Targets Reduce Unnecessary Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Settings. An Infographic from The Pew Charitable Trusts, May 2016. Available at: http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/assets/2016/05/national_goals_antibiotics.pdf?la=en (Accessed August 14, 2017).
2 Jerschow E, et. al. Fatal anaphylaxis in the United States, 1999-2010: Temporal patterns and demographic associations. J Allergy Clin Immuno 2014; 134:1318-1328. http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(14)01190-7/fulltext (Accessed August 14, 2017).
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza Antiviral Medications: Summary for Clinicians. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/summary-clinicians.htm. Accessed November 7, 2016.
4 CDC: 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions unnecessary. CDC Newsroom. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0503-unnecessary-prescriptions.html. Accessed August 11, 2016.
5 National Targets Reduce Unnecessary Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Settings. An Infographic from The Pew Charitable Trusts, May 2016. Available at: http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/assets/2016/05/national_goals_antibiotics.pdf. Accessed August 11, 2016.
6 Jerschow E, et. al. (2014). Fatal anaphylaxis in the United States, 1999-2010: Temporal patterns and demographic associations. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 134:1318-1328. http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(14)01190-7/fulltext. Accessed August 14, 2017.
7 FDA. Combating Antibiotic Resistance. Available at https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm092810.htm. Accessed August 30, 2017.
8 Sore Throat or Strep? Always get a Strep test before taking an antibiotic. BCBS of Tennessee online brochure. Available at www.bcbst.com/docs/providers/quality-initiatives/Children-with-Pharyngitis-QPI-27.pdf. Accessed August 30, 2017.
9 Antibiotic Resistance: Questions & Answers. RxList.com. Available at http://www.rxlist.com/antibiotic_resistance-page3/drugs-condition.htm. Accessed August 30, 2017.
10 Gibson, Jane er al. Multi-center evaluation of the cobas® Liat ® Influenza A/B & RSV assay for rapid point of care diagnosis. Journal of Clinical Virology. Volume 95, 5-9. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2017.08.004. Accessed August 28, 2017.
11 Forward KR, Haldane D, Webster D, Mills C, Brine C, Alyward D. A comparison between the Strep A Rapid Test Device and conventional culture for the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis. The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases & Medical Microbiology. 2006; 17(4):221-223. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2095077/. Accessed September 11, 2017.
12 Fangnian Wang, MD, PhD, YuTian, PhD, Lingjun Chen, BA, Robert Luo, MD, MPH, JoannaSickler, MPH, MBA, Oliver Liesenfeld, MD, Shuqi Chen, PhD Accurate Detection of Streptococcus pyogenes at the Point of Care using the cobas® Liat® Strep A Nucleic Acid Test. Clinical Pediatrics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28006981. Accessed September 7, 2017.
13 Consumer Health. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/antibiotics/art-20045720?pg=2. Accessed September 11, 2017.
14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/antivirals/whatyoushould.htm. Accessed November 7, 2016.